Are More Kids Depressed Because They’re Too Clean?

Hi Readers: Let kids eat dirt? Yes!

At least, that’s my take-away from reading this thought-provoking article. It discusses the work of Emory neuroscientist Charles Raison, MD,  who studies the link between cleanliness and depression. His hypothesis is that maybe young people are experiencing more asthma, allergies and even depression because they are less exposed to the benign germs that have been co-existing with and HELPING humans since the beginning of time. One way those microscopic “old friends” may help humans is by teaching the immune system not to overreact to other non-threatening germs and become inflamed. And there is some connection between inflammation and depression.

Here’s Dr. Raison putting it far better than I:  can: 

His entire study appears in December’s Archives of General Psychiatry.  But me, I watched more of his short videos on YouTube and found them really good. Now…off to toss the Purell. — Lenore

And Now — A School is Banning Chapstick!

Readers — I gotta go cook a turkey, but meantime, look at this. The REASON this Cleveland elementary school is making Chapstick contraband is that kids might SHARE it:

Parents were afraid that children would share the Chapstick and spread germs,” [schools spokeswoman] Sessoms said. “By requiring written permission from the parents, parents would be aware that their children had Chapstick and would be able to remind them not to share it with other children. This would also be a way for teachers to be aware so that they could deter students from sharing it with others.”

For this same reason they have banned hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

Come to think of it, maybe I should cancel my Thanksgiving dinner. The guests might end up passing the food! That’s sharing, right? And what if, God forbid, someone accidentally picks up someone else’s glass and sips from it? Think of the danger!

It’s just not worth it. This whole “community” thing has got to go! This school is on the right track: For safety’s sake, no human contact from now on. — L.